It’s not the first time an oil production tax increase has been considered in Alaska, but it is probably the worst time imaginable for such a scheme. Recessionary changes, plummeting oil prices and a decrease in tourism due to COVID-19 already threaten Alaska’s budgetary situation. Increasing taxes on the state’s leading industry at this time will not result in the outcome sought by the measure’s proponents. Instead, the perfect storm of these combined factors is likely to lead to diminished investments in new oil discoveries, business closures and job losses, decreased domestic and global oil production competitiveness and ultimately less revenue to support Alaska’s budget. Alaskans should think twice before heading to the ballot box and just say no to Ballot Measure 1 on Nov. 3.
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